Chelsea or Spurs, who would you least like to see in next season's Champions League? That is the wonderful situation that Arsenal fans find themselves in ahead of tonight's European Cup final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
Whilst on the surface it may seem obvious to Gooners to root for the German heavyweights - as nothing would be funnier than seeing John Terry and Frank Lampard fail to lift the trophy their owner craves most in another final of failure - it is worth considering the other alternative.
If Chelsea do by some stroke of miracle overcome their home advantaged opponents and win the Champions League, they will in doing so quite hilariously knock out Spurs from the competition next season. 4th place in the Premier League normally guarantees you a spot at UEFA's top table, but not if the previous year's winner is from your country and below you in the table.
Nothing would be funnier than seeing John Terry and Frank Lampard fail to lift the trophy their owner craves most in another final of failure
Put simply, if Chelsea lose they don't play Champions League football next year. But if Chelsea win, Spurs don't play Champions League football next year.
It is a wonderfully bizarre case of schadenfreude that Arsenal fans will experience tomorrow night regardless of the outcome of the match. 'Schadenfreude' is a term of Germanic origin that means to "take satisfaction or pleasure from someone else's misfortune". And any way you look at it, either Chelsea or Spurs are going to be suffering some serious misfortunate when the fat lady has sung at Allianz Arena in Munich tonight
It is sure to be a hot topic of debate amongst Gooners as to who they would prefer to get shot off in next season's Champions League. As much as I would personally detest to see John Terry lift the trophy, (he shouldn't be allowed as he's not even playing for starters) it would be oh so funny to see Spurs squeezed out of Europe on an administrative decision that was forged on Merseyside.
Back in 2005 Everton finished 4th in the league and secured their Champions League place, but UEFA were forced to permit both Scouse clubs as Liverpool completed their famous comeback against Milan in their Istanbul final, going on to lift the cup after penalty success. Thereafter football's bigwigs decided five teams from England were too many to compete in the Champs League, and ruled to outlaw a similar situation occurring again.
It would be oh so funny to see Spurs squeezed out of Europe on an administrative decision that was forged on Merseyside.
Fast forward to 2012 and here we are with the circumstances repeating themselves. Of course they may not if Chelsea are beaten by Bayern Munich like many are suggesting they will, but it is possible that the away side could record another shocking victory over heavily backed opposition again to the devastation of Tottenham Hotspur.
Just the thought of all those Yids dressed up in German lederhosen down their burnt-out local pubs crying into their steins if Bayern are defeated is surely enough to make any Arsenal fan tingle with excitement. And if Spurs are helped out by the power of the Germans, then the bad-bunch who forced a perfectly good man out of his job down the road at Stamford Bridge will be playing Europa League football next term. Just imagine, Roman Abramovich on Channel 5. That's quite some prospect.
It is worth considering the potential ramifications for both of Arsenal's arch enemies if they fail to reach the promised land of European football for 2012-2013.
Roman Abramovich on Channel 5. That's quite some prospect.
At White Hart Lane, the catastrophe of blowing a 13-point lead over Arsenal in 3rd place is already enough to start the rumblings of discontent at 'Arry Redknapp from the legions who previously worshipped him. A tactical flop as their season shuddered to a halt and 'Arry's courting of the England job (which presumably he didn't get because the F.A. couldn't read his scrawled application) will only serve to count further against the manager if their Champions League spot is snatched from their grasp. Bale bolts for Barcelona, Modric finally gets his wish of a move to guess-who Chelsea and money-grabber Adebayor returns with his tail in his legs to his Manchester City paymasters. Oh the wheels could fall off the entire club and not just the second part of their season if the outcome of tonight's final goes Chelsea's way. A delicious prospect.
On the other hand if Chelsea flop in Bayern and concede their chance to play in the competition next season, the club would struggle to foresee the overhaul in playing staff that is evidently necessary in West London. The grade of players available to Abramovich and whoever he lets play puppet-master next year drops significantly. Would Torres, Mata and Ramires have moved to a club not in contention in the big continental cup? It's hard to convince that they would.
So, either of those are the prospects in store for Arsenal fans. Depending on your personal wishes one scenario may top the other, but it's safe to say neither would be bad. Enjoy this curiously comical case of schadenfreude Gunners supporters, and just try not to laugh too hard into your pints whether it's Terry crying his eyes out on national television or another Enfield riot instigated by lederhosen-geared Spurs fans.
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